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Milton and the Animals


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On a couple of threads recently we had some discussion about whether animals have compassion or other emotions. In reading Robert Milton's book, (great read by the way), I came across some of Robert's thoughts on animals and it seemed germane.

About twenty years ago, Lizanne (his wife) and I visited a sheep farm while vacationing in New Zealand. I still vividly recollect Lizanne seated in the shade of a tree, bottle-feeding a lamb cuddled in her arms. The mood was broken, however, when the farmer invited us to his home for dinner and served us grilled lamb. I never got over the impact of that event, and I returned home determined not to eat an animal again. I still don't but I don't impose my decision to become a vegetarian on others. Our children, for example, look forward to visits to McDonald's just like other kids their age, unquestionably more for the toys than for the burgers. Actually, I want the kids to eat meat, not just because I worked at McDonald's as a kid, but because I think meat is critical for growth during their early years and because they are too young to decide to be vegetarians. After that day in New Zealand, however, my rule is: If it had a mother, I won't eat it.

At any rate I thought it might be of interest to some. I gotta admit it makes me feel a little guilty. I do like my cooked flesh as much as the next guy, and besides, my grandfather was a cattle rancher and I'd feel like I was letting down the side if I became a vegetarian... smile.gif

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